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Millbrook High School Art & Literary Magazine 2014 Identity

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Millbrook High School's Art and Literary Magazine


  • Millbrook High School

    Art & Literary Magazine



  • 2

    25. Daisy Bouquet by Alec Duncan

    31. Run by Joshua Masters

    32. Vietnam by Linda Nguyen

    33. The End is Never the End by Cameron Townsend

    38. My Voice by Morgan Dean

    Back Cover: Plastic Expressions by Sydney Warren

    3. 50/50 by Jennifer Haines

    5. Fat Girl by Joy Black

    6. McDonalds Cooken by Eli Kay

    7. Writing Utensil by Jennifer Haines

    8. Pretty by Jessica Lane

    9. Black and Blue by Daniel Monazah

    10. Endure by Jennifer Haines

    11. Paper-Crane Grace by Eli Kay

    12. Damned Little Punk by

    Emie Fischer

    16. To Middle School Me by

    Elizabeth Knowles

    17. Swift Nostalgia by Jens Myers

    18. Last Words by Eli Kay

    19. Forth by Adrian Janni

    20. Tell Me Not Gold by Eli Kay

    21. Toc-Tic by Sarah Gray Lesley

    24. Down by the Bay by Lydia


    32. Ignorance by Spencer Lane

    Cover: Man in the Mirror by Payton


    3. Camera by Caitlin Rathvon

    4. Sale ou non by Caitlin Rathvon

    5. Shatter by Payton Jameson

    8. Deterioration by Maryam Yamadi

    11. Balancing the Void by

    Hannah Harris

    13. Shake by Rebecca Costa

    14. Self-Portait by Sonia Wrobel

    14. Obstacle by Andrew Feist

    14.Death of Creativity by

    Peyton Jameson

    14. Glimpse by Madison Rivera

    15. Protective Embrace by Lurae


    15. Self-Portrait by Mary Claire


    15. An Apple a Day by Hannah Harris

    18. Headdress Whispers by

    Maryam Yamadi

    19. Ballerina Tattoos by Maryam


    23.Space Time by Anna Rinderer

    24.Bay-bound by Jacob

    Katzenstein 26. Prodigy by Sarah Gray Lesley

    34. Que Sera by Adrian Janni

  • 3


    The paperwork gleams.

    The instructions glare at me


    (A) White

    (B) Black

    (C) Asian/Pacific Islander

    (D) Hispanic

    I am eight years old

    Picking which to be, but I


    I am (E)

    None of the above.

    I am other.

    The color outside of

    the lines.

    I am torn.

    The clock ticks.


    (A) White

    I bury my disowned half

    Beside my mothers grave.

    I avoid her eyes in the mirror

    that day.


    (A) White

    I bury my disowned half

    Beside my mothers grave.

    I avoid her eyes in the mirror

    that day.









    Jennifer Haines

  • 4

    Caitlin Rathvon

  • 5

    Curly red hair

    Pulled up in a bun,

    Exposing a neck full of


    Sharp bones press

    Tight against pale skin,

    As though

    they are trying to escape.

    On a curved back is a


    that is clearly defined.

    Below a flat chest are ribs,

    despite being fragile,

    Stand out defiantly.

    Jeans are pulled up

    stick legs

    and are left sagging

    on thin hips.

    A sweater is shrugged on

    and swallows a

    slender frame.

    She glares

    at the fat girl in the mirror,

    and she has the audacity

    to glare back.

    Joy Black

  • 6

    Burning hearts

    In an angel oven,

    Like a glowing exit sign

    That opens up to a cliff.

    Angel over, angel over angel, over, angel

    Still force feeding hearts to a stone Golgotha

    often called 'life'; filled with false promises

    That hold back suggestive rules.

    Theres an old book

    Bound with lavish leather laughing

    At the ravenous maw of the world:

    Its Scratched down in hate, power,

    And, Genitals.

    Its pre-heated eternity; thats so sought after

    They run backwards- without question-

    The cook;

    Looking down;

    Sly smile;

    Twinkled eyes-


    Theyre just osteal over-all.

    McDonalds Cooken'

    -From God.

    Eli Kay

  • 7

    What am I then?

    Id say Im pretty plain.

    Not too much of


    Steady and reliable,

    But able to change

    my mind.

    I can be light or dark.

    Its all about my mood.

    Some say Im boring grey,

    But those who get to

    know me

    Find I can be colored too.

    I admit I have my faults.

    I smear on occasion,

    And yes, sometimes I break.

    But every time I

    come back sharper.

    Im persistent that way.

    And Im proud to be

    a pencil.

    A Writing Utensil

    I guess Im a pencil.

    I used to think I was a marker,

    Interesting and colorful,

    Flowing, easy-going,

    Permanent or washable,

    Depending on the day

    I suppose Im not that bold though,

    So sure and striking,

    Always an eye-catcher,

    All over the place.

    No, thats not me.

    I dont think I could ever be a pen,

    Strong and certain,

    Slow to fade,

    Knowing what I want,

    Never changing my ways.

    Ive never thought myself a highlighter.

    Id like to think Im not that shallow,

    Attention seeking,

    Irritatingly bright,

    Constantly in your face.

    Jennifer Haines

  • 8

    Pretty Jessica Lane

    I am not pretty.

    I am not lovely or quiet.

    I am not a work of art, not the

    All American Mona Lisa that you painted me to be,

    with a generic lipstick smile

    and starched white apron

    as my eyes sigh promises

    of mundane, not-quite-love.

    I am not a face-

    I am loud. I am expressive and fearsome.

    I come home, holding anger in my fists

    and enough sunlight in my eyes to burn you with a glare

    from how you tried to touch me.

    I am erupting flames,

    like fire from a mountain

    that has slept for too long.

    I will not go back to sleep. I will burn until I blind myself

    from my own luminescence.

    and all the oceans in the

    world will not




  • 9

    What did I do

    To be so black

    And blue?

    at first, afraid.


    of which I was incapable, lingered beneath the



    really listen.

    And yet, it

    was satisfying to hear the silence

    of sound. I had discovered my beingeven

    though I could not answer.

    To see around

    corners is enough,

    But to hear

    around them inhibits action,


    I believe in nothing

    of not in action.

    Ones sense of time would run down.

    Or I might forget to leave my hole.

    Meanwhile I enjoy my life, compliments of

    Light&Power. You never recognize me,

    and youll hardly believe that I exist; it wont


    Before, I lived in darkness By Daniel Monazah

  • 10

    Jennifer Haines

  • 11

    You have these wrinkles

    Imbedded in both your hands

    That symbolize Sky.

    I swear you know flight,

    Finger-tip-creations breathe:

    They conquer such height.

    Poem by Eli Kay Art: Hannah Harris

  • 12

    I wanna be that damned little punk.

    Who steals her parents liquor

    And blows smoke through

    Bathroom ventilation fans. Because maybe,

    If I blow hard enough, itll carry my prayers

    To the heavens like the incense does in churches.

    I may not believe in capitol G God,

    But I surely believe in capitol S Someone, and maybe if I

    Wear tights with a snag for every time Ive sacrificed myself

    For someone else, or if I wear boots big enough to let them

    Hear me coming, or if I encase my nightly prayers in

    Carcinogens theyll float up because they have

    No where else to go. And maybe someone will hear.

    But when I cry, I only echo. My voice bouncing back to me,

    Ricocheting off the empty walls,

    Because I am that dammed little punk, who hides

    Behind clouds of smoke and empty bottles.

    At least then, its harder to notice their absence.

    At least now, theres always something to steal.

    Emie Fischer

  • 13

    Rebecca Costa

  • 14

    Self-Portait- Sonia Wrobel

    Obstacle- Andrew Feist

    Death of Creativity- Peyton Jameson

    Glimpse Madison Rivera

  • 15


    Gallery P

    rotective Em

    brace- Lu

    rae Ru






    a D







    rtrait- Mary C

    laire Daw


  • 16

    If I passed you in the halls today

    Would you recognize me?

    Youd have to look up to see my face, and know your oval morphed;

    Youd have to recognize my darker hair, and look past its shortness.

    Would you understand why

    I would be wearing skinny jeans

    And a shirt saying carpe diem?

    If I talked to you in the halls today,

    Would you know me? Youd have to listen past the country

    To hear Boy and Panics strains.

    Youd have to understand why

    I throw my head back and laugh

    As I toss out my favorites,

    My dreams and my cares.

    Would you recognize

    in my vivacity your reserve?

    Would you recognize in my

    Verbosity your carefully meted words?

    But if I met you today,

    Would you think that I

    Still have your love?

    That I still have your care,

    Your intelligence and faith

    That everyone is good?

    If we talked for hours

    And I showed you my scars,

    Would you know how I got them

    And think me worthwhile,

    Despite them or maybe because of them?

    Six years separate me from you.

    Ive been places you havent

    And done things you dont know

    Could be done.

    If I passed you today in the halls

    Would you trust me and my goodness

    As I today trust yours?

    Elizabeth Knowles

  • 17

    Jens Meyer

  • 18


    will grow from your

    grave, and some

    will call them weeds,

    while others

    say flowers.

    But you will be buried

    with kings,

    only to


    within the hour.

    -Eli Kay

    Headdress Whispers - Maryam Yamadi

  • 19

    Adrian Janni


    will grow from your

    grave, and some

    will call them weeds,

    while others

    say flowers.

    But you will be buried

    with kings,

    only to


    within the hour.

    -Eli Kay


    a Tattoo

    s Maryam





    Dont stop the train

    No, the comet in which soars

    Higher and higher,

    Bristling and ambitioning

    With the fire

    That christens your family

    In the blood

    of this infinite sky.


    Dont crave the shade

    No, the carcass in which rots

    Darker and darker,

    Putrefying and deadening

    With the stone

    That anchors your family

    In the flood of this desolate plain.

    Sally.. Fight!

    Take this heart of mine!

    Tear it beating from my chest,

    Bleeding, bleeding,

    Seeping blood into your veins,

    Brimming, brimming,

    Bursting them open to set

    Ablaze the very things that we

    Fear with the invincible vigor of




  • 20

    Tell-Me-Not-Gold Mermaid flowers Bloom Iridescences between hues Of seas left unseen Wolf-whistles real low And night lights with sea foam glow: Petals made to woo. [Comatose and bleach All-in-all the same white thing: Gray never bloomed right.] Mermaid Flowers Sway In to waters just too deep. Still believing sun. They aren't the lost ones They have songs that sing fever And hearts without cure

    They have deep-sea eyes They chime out "Come fol-low us, We're just ecstasy: Our minds are racing, Left us- went chasing Pirates. Their Tell-Me-Not-Gold." Summer hands

    break warmth, Kneed fire, immolate thought. Harlequin flowers All but arbitrary lust: Small cries of ire. We grin all but gray Our flowers can't bloom that way- Our Tell-Me-Not-Gold It was made to gleam. Deep waters of in-between 'Twas made to be seen.

    -Eli Kay

  • 21

    What they are is not there,

    Tucked inside skinny paper plates. Are

    They going to be gone so

    Soon? Before they drink too many

    Or they cry before the tictoc

    Of their quick, adolescent clocks

    Stop? Heralding to all, everywhere,

    That though they will tell their telling

    Tales, they are no longer people

    Of endless dreams. They are not what

    Memory-making feeds because toctic

    Has come to them, first time,

    Last time, nine oclock, it, The cold, geriatric witching hour, is

    Listlessly arriving in order for

    Them to meet the aging tictic

    Body-craved curfew, came at that instance

    When they swore that to have five

    Was not even the starting toc

    To their toctic night, where minutes

    Were slurring together so that only a toc

    Felt as though it was far past

    The means to down, to force, a number six,

    The means to reach that solitary tic.

    She, sprawled across a down-covered box spring,

    Pinches here, pinches there, where there is

    Tastelessly lumped flesh, not her, not

    The mini-skirt and tank-top, carb regulated

    Form. But he comes anyway and

    Makes her shift to the right and the bed does

    This ship-deck screech, not her, not

    Like it was before, where now, later, to get,

    Crawling and mascara-stained, out

    Of the searching crowd below, out of

    The boom-booming waiting, placed order

    Of seeking, but never touching, intoxication nor

    A lost-in-translation moment between do

    And dont. Ten-year-old music, its Nostalgic fingers have calloused hands

    - Sarah Gray Lesley

  • 22

    With patches of hair collected beside a

    Line of ink-stained, paper-cut, bit little

    Nails. His attempts, feeble, caresses, jerking

    Rather than soft. You should move, move

    To the left, he says. Theyve gotten over Romance and play love like color-by-numbers.

    No use in taking this charade slowly.

    Wish it was that one guy, three years. We

    Were not so tattered then. We do

    Not have the stamina to jump, not

    Have the hope to even try to wind

    Ourselves up: Jack-in-the-box. It

    Will do its job. It will get us up

    Enough to look as though we relived it

    But there is that man, not boy, who has

    No drink, no lacy sweat beads, no

    Organization on the ledges of his hand, weights

    Of waiting weighing way down to springs

    Of break, where car horns and rubber-burned wheels

    Because of the soundtrack to the dance of inside

    Circles, not circles of trust, circles of

    Using and usability, and the feeling of its

    Sweet, slobbery promises against the slender

    Curve of a nameless girl. Drowning in self

    And the loss of it. But now there is no

    Slender, bottle-fed Barbie, no, indeed

    All of the faces looking like those stalagmites of

    Lessons unheard when moments were too dear

    To waste with legs trapped underneath a learner of nothing.

    But was the rush he felt, release of

    Inhibition, the endless dazedness, the

    Cataclysmic wanderings, made of the kind

    Of joy he thought hed never find again? So,

    He leaves his coat and lunges himself back to when

    The bass didnt give migraines and a kiss

    Did not wait to come only from one Spring

  • 23

    To the next, when a girl that, to you, comes

    Comes as no surprise and thoughts of well

    Never meet again is followed by a hot wet kiss.

    But he looks around, at all he sees, each

    Has a pencil-colored mouth, and lines, not lips, to kiss,

    To kiss another, one of those precious other

    Who have too little cares and too little on

    To dare try to say that they dont want a kiss

    From the one who has had too little of the

    Punch, too little lacking, to dare think to kiss,

    A trial run for bliss, a journey on foreign lips.

    So he grabs one quickly, deftly, because

    Hes swarmed and cant tell which reached their tic

    Of the toctic, but never tictoc, clocks.

    She spins and stumbles, so clearly past toc.

    Hey, my name is But he tells, Dont

    Because he wants nameless faces to make

    Tame-less graces in the nameless room, a

    Head-of-the-bed clock going toctic

    And with each locked lip, he feels the difference,

    But hes on his way, not going to

    Missmiss yet another misguided kisskiss

    Because the moments truth, so locked in you,

    Is saved for few who rarely knew, and

    Sweats bleeding unlike it used to

    And all he wanted, dear God, was a


    For the nights ends of emptying of a

    tocticked me.

    Space Time - Anna Rinderer

  • 24

    Way out by the bay,

    we drove for miles.

    Because we thought,

    that if we bought,

    that idolized car they all would


    popularity can be taught.

    But way out by the bay,

    we witnessed,

    what we never expected to see.

    That person we never expected

    to be.

    That horrible time in May,

    when it was she and not we.

    And way out by the bay,

    when things were said but not meant.

    When we were who we werent,

    And we never thought wed learn what we learnt.

    That the area that is all too grey,

    wont always protect you from getting burnt.

    Way out by the bay,

    when our only intention,

    was to buy that beloved car.

    Bay-bound Jacob Katzenstein

    Poem by Lydia Granholm

  • 25

    Even though it was so far.

    And when the populars spoke it was never just play.

    It shouldnt be up to her to keep her feelings in a jar.

    We were way out by the bay,

    with plans of a purchase,

    so that the others would think,

    that we,

    and she,

    were on the brink,

    of no longer being less than nothing but more than okay.

    But their words,





    And so way out by the bay,

    we achieved our goal, and they theirs.

    And though we technically returned victorious,

    to not cast blame they implored us.

    But now in this car I see only what they say.

    Once a fond memory, its now only



    sy B



    et -


    x D



    Poem by Lydia Granholm

  • 26


    Sarah-Gray Lesley

    Here we sit, you and I. Your finely filtered interior placed, systematically and aggressively high against the stiff, varnished wood. My face stuffed between the folds of your skin, my mind sag-ging under the weight, the mundane newness, while they sit round, legs crossed and fifty fallibly fancy papers crescendo-ing at their feet. Father and Mother consume one edge of the parental ring. From their parental loins I came, lathered and lavished, to be presented to the world with my head on a platter. A gift, I was, at the smashing age of three. Legos attached and detached to present a work of architectural genius, and they drained my satisfaction with a long game of photo-clicking and newspaper-publishing. The boy in the shadowed corners of such chronicling is barely notice-able now, sitting, on the other end, with malice in eye. His heart-hearty body slanted at a forty degree angle against the plastered wall, he is Br-other. Who knew that adding two roll-off-your-tongue consonants would break into a natural other? It takes one to make the other. The otherness found in his two-a-day toned legs and my hairless pegs, the bulges riding through his biceps and the bones peek-a-boo-ing from mine.

    Brother, Mother, Father, gnawing on boxed pizza pies, have stretched on mental tiptoes to find me, where I am, stapled on a prestigious precipice of prodigy, scavenger through the pages of the retreat inside my favorite novel. Oh there, found here, is a piece of compassion, tucked inside the pages of a Rushdie. One moor sigh and a half-moored life. Knifed. Sometimes I can sympathize. Fourteen years have passed since my crowning, my debut; eight years of fingers calculating for solutions that held no meaning that led to an innumerable number of checks sent to the doorstep of Brother, Other, Mother, Father: Home. You were delivered, shiny and new, drawing closer and closer. My work as an entire a child-hood, one confined to the halls of books and journeys and delights, ablaze. They surround me but do not touch.

  • 27

    White pages sensually seared with figures that merely tickle my brain. You, with the soft ideas and hard facts, grasp hold of some lobe that was earlier occupied. We were lost amidst the barbarian-ism, that cold-blooded anarchist mutiny, coiled inside the library. A cluster of students clumped in the stacks of the local university, where I, with growing pubescent savagery, scoured, with my paper-cut, ink-stained hands, the grotesque works of that fiend Tolstoy and that madman Hemingway. I brought them home to my family, arranging both bodies of blood and of work around a table. But when I was there, I swam solitary in those halls, sequestered by a team of sun-kissed elders with half-minds to mine, smiling and spill-ing laughs that tasted sour when my silence swallowed them. My sallow face played like imitations of you, incarnate in these pages. You have brought me here, sowing the unsolvable benefits. I re-main straddled with a howling hall of faces, pouring over fresh in-formation that stains stale in me. How could Mother-Father have known, adorned with that phos-phorescent lighting, holding my slickly formed new body, to not drop my bald head on the plastic linoleum? How to know that after only a few years, I would place on them a certain sense of placid-ity? You, oh school of guided thoughts, crammed with the wastes of knowledge, have sat inside me since that fateful moment. I, at the age of two and zero, crawled towards you and grasped for your meanings and organized them amongst my blocks, where women with butterfly glasses and cotton-ball hair would declare, Ah, gen-ius! We were proclaimed, you and I, me and you, verbally af-firmed. No time can separate us now, years not bring any divide. They still give me to you and you to me, both thicker, finer, and laminated to slaughter. I sigh half-moored sighs and watch the laughter of semi-scholar-ed barbarians play like a motion picture in the back of my thoughts. I wish wisely wait-full wishes with the slamming of another cover. Angels dust ascends. Descends. Again. I watch you, wading up to me, with cold passivity. Enjoy or not, we are bound or bonded together, surfaced to the world with con-joined identity.

  • 28

    We are the presented. Four through eleven we found each other with a visceral attraction of sorts, discovering and creating each of our growing figures, and me worshipping your ethereal essence and intelligence, molding myself to each. Now, how routine has trumped ecstasy, and a sense of the other-Brother jealousy and Mother-Father bothers have created muffled divides. I ask you to recall, upon a birthday, when I blew out spit and miniature flames with you placed against my hands. Recall how we retired to the soli-tude of my chambers. The light above, as we illuminated, flickered and died miserably, but I held you, in the darkness, your smell and mine mixing to a mysterious musk. Sleep subdued expectations.

    With a defamatory spat, Brother viciously sends your fallen comrade to the floor. I feel no pang of worry for your care, nor how you are arranged. He states that he shall be leaving for bed, fol-lowed by a swift departure. Mother-Father watches, and I watch them. They contemplate Other-Brother philosophies with steady stares, then motor away, each, one following the other, always in alphabetical order. They seem to waddle more than walk. Either way it is the same.

    My fingers clasp to the sharp-edged corner of your squared margins. We are one. I breathe your air, as you breathe mine. I stay, trapped against you, careening through all your ideas, proving all your theses, filling all your empties. I look, no, I dare a cheating, adulterous glance at my insidious collegiate novels. Those commu-nal, classless conspirators once stuffed in those universal halls are probably paperless-ly preparing for a night alit with unintelligent conversation along with a superfluous use of tongue in the passion-ate embrace of drunkenness. Where would I be placed in this riot-ous romp, if it werent for you? Perhaps I would be stacked be-tween the pillars of sweat-drenched bodies, reading the covers of empty beer cans, or uncovering the slope of the curves drawn on a disillusioned female? But you know that I will not. I could not.

  • 29

    Eleven rings on the clock above. It is late for us, but you, desperate you, reach from your two-dimensions and strangle the sleep from my drooping eyelids. I watch you unravel into naked theories, pulled from nothing like childrens salami-fingers reaching, into the darkness of curiosity, for any connection to the host of ob-servations. There is no basis, no priority. It is rather dull. I disprove each of your whims, avoid each conniving trick and dodge them, through the muddled haze of my weakening determination. I write a few thoughts on this self-proclaimed rogues work that you have led me towards. He finds himself revolutionary, while I find him insipid. For a moment, I believe that something may come from the glorious pouring of ideas that travel like electric cur-rents from the edge of my thoughts through the tense taught-ness of my arm into my clenched fingers. Scratching and scraping, you bleed into the page, and I think that I have it. I think that I have you. And it is wonderful, primitive, wistful. Flying through you, conquer-ing you like I will others when manhood has dressed me in inde-pendence and decisions. I can see him, a man born from you. And then you disappear from my ink, your blood no longer flowing, and there is justice in the subtle slowing of my instrument. A single tear sits on my bottom lid, but it is extraneous. I sleep with-out you, in the coldness of white-colored sheets that you bought me, and dream the dreams that are tattooed with you. I breathe the air in a way that you once told me was the best way to lengthen a life, my half-moored life. Knifed. I wake with thoughts of you. You, Brother, Other, Father, Mother congregate like dogs to the smell of breakfast without speaking in any semblance of eroticism, just weather and eggs that were birthed onto my plate from Father who grunted at me in ac-knowledgment. Yet I gain far more from his caveman communica-tions than you.

  • 30

    You are cradled in the crook between my right thumb and index finger, where your weight, over the years, has hollowed out a groove to rest in, take residence, and remind me, when you arent there, that you should be. We walk to my bed, where it is warmer with you here, where, at the scheme of chance, you begin to bring up something I have never heard before. It is Freudian, the study. Emotions described in linguistic calculations, that once read, can never be felt as it did previously. I see myself as a distorted reflec-tion against your pages. I hear my story inside your words. Your freshness overtakes me. It is quick, tender, like playground kisses underneath the swing sets, or at least how I imagined them when I read those barbaric books huddled underneath the covers of my protective fort of a comforter at the age of six. I analyze you, and you analyze me, and I realize that there is no you. There is only you inside me and me inside you. This is our half-moored, Other-ed life. I cannot hold you. You are shedding black tears, tiny roads mapping out reality and blurring the facts. I can no longer look at you, and as you drop to the heap of white, I can no longer see where you began or will end.

  • 31

    Joshua Masters

  • 32

    Ignorance is not bliss: ignorance is mislabeled. Ignorance is used too often. Ignorance shades the mind and creates a false fairy tale world for

    us to subside in and fight over. We find ourselves speaking out against

    others views, calling each other ignorant instead of just disagreeing. We talk with no open mind nor a changeable opinion. In order to be

    ignorant you need to be shaded from the truth, not disagree with


    -Spencer Lane.

    Linda Nguyen

  • 33

    Cameron Townsend

  • 34

    Qu Sera by Adrian Janni

    Qu sera, my father would say, sera. I heard him say it first when he, my two brothers, and I were by Pa-Pas bed as he died. Pa-Pa, my grandfather, was as resilient as the steel he had worked. His heart, though, was

    as warm as the fires in the mills. He fought death for months in the stuffiness

    of our guest room, and was lively for every moment he had left. Qu sera, sera was the verbal lifeblood of my father and his father alike. It means, in

    Spanish, What will be, will be.

    Pittsburgh was a hard place to be at the time, and even harder to be

    from. White people were still uneasy around minorities, and would jump to

    conclusions whenever crime was in the question.

    Were all Americans in this country, even if our last names dont end in son or ton, my mother ranted. I was born to a Hispanic family, my grandparents being from Spain. Both of my parents had been born in the

    United States, my father Spanish-American and my mother African-American.

    I did not feel the racial-tension until I started school (a year after Pa-Pa

    passed). My family would then teach me to be tough before it got tough.

    Life will hit you hard, but not as hard as you can hit it back, was one of my dads many sayings. I was an easy crier, though, so I doubt would have ever swung back. I had more toys than friends; I spent most of my days as a toddler

    crashing my cars or smashing my G.I. Joes together. The neighborhood kids

    never wanted to play with me, and would steal my toys to watch the water-

    show my eyes would perform. My parents would scold me for the racket I

    made, in what seemed to be their way of toughening. It would only make me

    feel more aloneif it were not for Pa-Pa.

    His scraggly face, framing his hazelnut eyes, would nuzzle my face as

    we wrestled on his bed. The smell of rioja wine was woven into his jubilant

    laughter. My mother would warn that all of the excitement was not good for

    Pa-Pas condition, but he would just flash his smile of corn-teeth and say, Well, who else is going to tame mi pequeno monstruo? He was my best friendunlike my brothers at the time. The two boys, both black-haired and wild-eyed, were either finding trouble or making it. Pa-Pa told me that every

    young man goes through such a phase, and said I would eventually too. I just

    wanted to play with my best friend forever.Before his accident, Pa-Pa worked

    the steel-mills alongside my father and uncles. He never complained about his

    labor, unless it pertained to the outsourcing of factory jobs. The Garcas have melted iron ever since I fled Spain and its silly civil war. We forged the coun-

    try you see todayand how do the big businessman on-top repay us? With a swift kick to mi culo! Pa-Pa swore up and down that he could still work de-spite his third-degree-burned arm, but the company kept him suspended.

    When it finally did heal, they did not fire him, as the men in suits claimed, but

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    instead implied retirement. He had been employed for forty-two years.

    His heart withered to be as wrinkled and dried as that scorched arm. After

    Gramma passed away from unforeseen illness, years before he lost his job, Pa-

    Pa stopped visiting and began avoiding our calls. My dad said he was suffer-

    ing depression. I didnt like the word at all, and I hated it more when my

    grandfather wandered down the street on a weekend night and stood on our

    front porch. His knocking on the door was hardly a tap and I was aghast to see

    him when I opened the door. The street light behind him cast him as a silhou-

    ette, making him look empty. His eyes were milky and stared unblinkingly

    from the dark pits of his stony face. He seemed to be trying to say something

    before he fell in a crumpled heap on the floorboards. My parents were there

    faster than a Conway train. They called for our neighbora nursewho then

    kept him alive until the ambulance arrived. It was the most dead I had ever

    seen him. The image of the hollow carcass that he embodied that night is for-

    ever my definition for depression. For the first time in my life, I did not

    sleep that night.

    I didnt know if he was still alive. After seeing him that night and

    how he collapsed, I assumed he had died. When my father took the family to

    visit him the next day, I thought we were going to his funeral. I saw no differ-

    ence between a hospital and a morgue, so I was already in tears by the time we

    got to the front doors, drowning in the mocking sunshine that plagued the sky.

    Mother shushed me, and I grew quiet. I was startled by the fluorescent light-

    ing, thinking a funeral home would be illuminated more subtly. Walking

    through the halls, I thought the patients were corpses, and I held my breath

    when I saw them walking too.

    Mama! Mama! Are those people dead? I whispered.What?

    No, theyre not dead! Dont bother them, you got it, boy? my mother, who

    was busy with my little sister, ignored me. I continued to shiver with every

    cream-colored door we passed, expecting some zombie or ghost to pop out.

    We arrived at Pa-Pas room, and I became certain that he was dead. He laid

    there unmoving, eyes closed and as pale as a desert. My parents and brothers

    released a sigh of relief that appalled me. What, are they happy to see Pa-Pa

    dead? Tears welling in my eyes again, I ran to the old mans side and yelled,

    I am the only one who ever loved you, Pa-Pa! My eyes remained clenched

    shut until I heard his gravelly accent say, Well, thats all that matters.

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    Pa-Pa spent one week in the hospital, and after much argument on his part, was

    moved to our house. The doctor told us to keep an eye on him and that he

    should not overexert himself. He, of course, turned a deaf ear to the doctor. Pa

    -Pa, who would defy the claim that he was bedridden, became my first play-

    mate. No one my age wanted to play with the crybaby. My mother would be

    cleaning or cooking in the house while he and I played pirates in the front yard.

    Whenever my father wasnt working, and had enough energy, he would come out and play soccer with us. He guarded the goal (our driveway) as our

    dynamic duo attacked with the tattered, brown ball. I always scored, even if I

    missed the ball when I swung my foot at it.

    For weeks we followed the routine of playing games, drawing pic-

    tures and reading books (he did most of the reading, though). He would tire

    easily, but could be rejuvenated with some cheese and two glasses of wine.

    This man had changedone moment hes just my grandfather down the street, and in another hes my best friend. Pa-Pa was constantly criticized that he was not acting his age. I thought that whatever age he was supposed to act, I never would want to be it. He was always happy; except for the few times I

    found him crying. At those times I would sit down and cry with him. That

    would always cheer him up, and he would begin tickling me in response.

    Ooh, mi pequeno monstruo! he would giggle.

    One day, Pa-Pa and I were taking a walk through the neighborhood,

    counting the cracks in the sidewalk and being extremely careful to not step on

    them for my mothers sake. My brothers had just gotten a car for themselves and we thought it be gracious to not break her back when she was at risk of a

    heart attack. He knew that he shouldnt be out of bed for this long, and I told

    him, as my mother always did. Spewing his wine-flecked breath, he spoke:

    You see, nietecito, I have been sick. But I wont be for much longer. I have learned something in the time I have spent with you. You have

    taught me so much, and I thought I had learned all that there was to know. We

    all have so much to learn, and such little time to do so. I have found a certain

    pride in realizing this, but sadness too, he gets down on one knee and his eyes meet mine, Dont ever grow up. Youll waste too much time trying too.I was completely clueless to what he had said. It was just big person talk to me.

    That began to change, though, when he collapsed for the second time the next

    day. We didnt even take him to the hospital. My father just carried him to the guest room bed. The closest my father ever came to crying was when he said,

    The doctors prediction for his time left was too precise.I did not leave Pa-Pas side for days I needed to be there for when he woke up. I had to be dragged out of there just to eat dinner, and I would not even do that unless I

    could bring it into the guest room.

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    Hes still breathing, heart rates faint Im sorry. He is still alive, but the

    doctor stuttered the one time he visited.

    But what? my father barked, his face either seething anger, fear, or


    Hes comatose.

    Comatose one of the few grown-up words I had known. I was

    disheartened, but not hopeless when I heard it. Pa-Pa just had to live. He just

    had to.

    I want to say my grandfather went peacefully, but two days later the

    whole neighborhood could have heard him die. Thrashing and screaming,

    clawing and biting, he had awoken on a sunny evening and had taken to trying

    to open the rooms tiny window. When he returned home by my mothers call,

    it took all of my fathers strength to pry him from the sill. Pa-Pas eyes bulged

    with the same milky glaze again, and the vessels in his wrinkled, red neck

    seemed fit to burst. Soon the whole family had gathered around the horrific

    scene, stunned silently. I stood at the foot of the bed, where I was just tall

    enough to watch my father grapple my withered friend. He continued to strug-

    gle under my fathers restraint for what felt like an eternity. Finally, when I

    couldnt take it anymore, I jumped on the bed and screeched, Stop it!

    He did Pa-Pa stopped all of himself, with only his quivering lips

    mouthing some incoherent words. His gaze was transfixed on me, no longer

    glazed. The pain had passed, and with a labored inhale, Pa-Pa exhaled, Mi

    amo. Light fled from his eyes, as the sunlight from his window did too. I

    closed my eyes, and without crying, whispered, my love to you too. It was

    then that I understood Pa-Pas words.

    Qu sera, my father said, sera.

  • 38

    Morgan Dean

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    Note to the Reader

    Identity: The clichs are endless. Advertisements, movies, books, and articles

    all implore teenagers to find their identity inside the halls of high school. We

    are to know who we are by the time we finally reach the ever-approaching

    real world. Being a generation bred from High School Musicals and epi-sodes of Glee, we have been inundated with self-identification. Our journeys to

    this moment of self-epiphany, however, arent strung together with catchy cho-ruses or romantic rooftop dances, but more often than not, strings of the ordi-

    nary. The literary magazine wanted to celebrate how this ordinariness can

    breed the extraordinary in individuals, individuals who can then translate these

    moments of realizations onto a page, whether that be through photographs,

    paintings, poetry, etc.

    Through selecting the stories, poems, and artwork that goes into this

    years edition of the Tempest, we were thrilled to see the vast range of defini-tions the authors and artists had for identity. More importantly, we found that

    students not only explored their own identity but the identity of others, placing

    themselves in others shoes to understand a perspective beyond their own. Through this, I came to my own realization that this search for finding how we

    are unique frequently overshadows the search to understand the unique facets

    within and beyond communities that we live in. I hope that inside this maga-

    zine there is at least one story, poem, work of art, or pieces within each, that

    connects to your perception of your identity. I invite you to open up and ex-

    plore the themes throughout, explore the stories, explore the tensions within

    the sketches, explore the line breaks of the poems, because each has the direct

    purpose of allowing you, the reader, to explore, not only the identity of the

    writer or artist, but a piece of your own identity.

    Many thanks to Mrs. and Mr. Davis, our supervisors. Thank you for

    tirelessly rallying the staff throughout the year to allow this magazine to be-

    come reality, and more importantly, thank you for understanding the impor-

    tance of a literary magazine within a high school community. Also, thanks to

    Eli Koterba. Without your constant efforts to perfect (and then re-perfect, and

    then re-re-perfect) the layout of the magazine, this years Tempest would never have become a reality. Thank you to all the Tempest staff who have devoted

    many hours to selecting and perfecting this magazines. Your input and ever-

    available assistance were irreplaceable. Thank you to all who submitted. Your

    work both inspired and challenged the staff in more ways than one. Thank you

    for your bravery to give us a piece of yourself, let us publish it, and then shuf-

    fle it around school. Finally, thank you, Reader, for exploring this collection of

    identities. There is no greater gratification than to have your work seen and


    With gratitude,

    Sarah Gray Lesley

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